Jargo Wins Gold Star Award
Karen Jargo is almost always on a tennis court, whether she’s playing, coaching, or cheering on her family or friends. Throughout her tennis career, she has competed in USTA Leagues, helped found a school tennis program, and served as a Junior Team Tennis coach.
Jargo says she first started playing tennis because it was a way to stay active that didn’t feel like exercise. She spent a few years away from the court when her daughters were young and came back to the tennis community with a passion to share the game- starting with a local school.
“The Classical School of Wichita’s (CSW) tennis program only began about seven years ago with me and a couple of other moms who play tennis. We had a handful of middle school and high school players who didn’t have much experience, so we have built the program up piece by piece,” Jargo said. “CSW has only recently joined KSHSAA and thankfully we’ve been able to take players to state competition every year since.”
Even with the tennis program off the ground, Jargo continues to help push for growth within the program and within herself.
She has been working with the city to improve the public courts their team uses, and she has developed her coaching skills through Junior Team Tennis and Net Generation workshops.
“The development of the program, players and coaches has been a lot of work, and I couldn’t do it alone,” Jargo said. “We can see the fruits of our labor in the skills and love for the sport these players now have.”
Through her work with the high school tennis program, Jargo became involved in JTT as a summer tennis coach.
She says the biggest challenge this year was navigating how COVID-19 cut down on the interactions between players for both the summer and school seasons.
“We simplified [JTT] in some ways because in the past we may have mixed up players more often, and this year we just kept them in the same groups the entire time. We had temperature checks, sanitizing, and only offered prepackaged food,” Jargo said. “The saddest part of the post season for the high school girls was that the number of state qualifiers was reduced from six to four players. Although not ideal for the seeding, the post season still happened, which was great for the seniors to have one last chance to compete in high school.”
For Jargo, the best part of being involved in tennis is interacting with the community, and her league team of “tennis sisters” is a big part of that.
“I have a team of ladies who have really made the social side of the sport more fun. They have become a special group of women in my life,” Jargo said. “We have done road trips for traveling matches, dinners out, Christmas parties, girls’ trips to Florida to play tennis, worked and played together for local charity tournaments, and have been there for each other during some of life’s most difficult times.”
When she’s not on the court, Jargo spends plenty of time with family and friends, whether she’s entertaining at her home, volunteering at CSW, or watching her daughters play a tennis match.
USTA Kansas is proud to recognize Jargo with a Gold Star award. You can check the official list of section winners here.